News: Hannah Peel announces a new work, ‘The Unfolding’, with Paraorchestra and Charles Hazlewood, out in April; see a teaser

Hannah Peel and Paraorchestra, photographed by York Tillyer

ARTIST extraordinaire Hannah Peel, fresh from her reimagining and recasting of Delia Derbyshire’s library music work, Fir Wave, and her folksier collaboration with Philippe Cohen Solal, Mike Lindsay and others, Outsider, has announced details of a major new work, The Unfolding, in collaboration with the award-winning, premier British conductor Charles Hazlewood and his Paraorchestra; expect, from the short teaser video released this afternoon, a fine meshing of the modern compositional and the exploratory electronic.

That new work will be with us come April 1st next year on Peter Gabriel’s Real World imprint and comprises an eight-part collaboration between Hannah and Bristol’s Paraorchestra, exploring that ensemble’s ideas of what an orchestra could and perhaps should be, mixing analogue, digital and assistive instruments with a unique ensemble of disabled and non-disabled musicians to make magic happen.

The project’s genesis lie with the Paraorchestra artistic director, Charles Hazlewood, who asked Hannah to consider writing for them.

Hannah herself, having explored concepts of time and the cosmos on records such as Awake But Always Dreaming and Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia was becoming increasingly fascinated with life cycles on Earth, stemming from readings of Jacquetta Hawkes’ poetic history of Britain, A Land, and Robert Macfarlane’s glorious Underland.

She was interested in making an album driven by a sound palette suggesting our primal roots of ourselves and sought inspiration from Paraorchestra members; the album was recorded at Real World Studios; the perfect place, Hannah thinks, for The Unfolding to emerge, because not only are the studios accessible for all , but also because they were “surrounded by nature… you step outside, and it’s like life again.”

The Unfolding is almost a life form in itself”, she continues, “taken from the muddy cells of the earth and taking flight into the air then returning to the elements. It’s like a character in itself. It’s a new way of seeing.” 

Hannah and Paraorchestra will be playing the work live at a select series of venues later in the spring, as follows. Tickets are on sale now; click through on the venue to secure yours.

Thursday, May 5th, Edinburgh, Assembly Rooms;
Friday, May 6th, Gateshead, SAGE, and
Saturday, May 21st, London, Barbican.

The Unfolding by Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra will be released by Real World Records on April 1st, 2022, on CD, double vinyl, and double vinyl Dinked Edition; order yours here.

For more information on the artists involved, visit Paraorchestra’s website, Hannah Peel’s, and Charles Hazlewood’s.

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